Can you tell me something about the apostle Paul? Was he really Jewish?

According to his own autobiographical account, Paul Tarsus grew up as a religious Jew named Saul. In his youth he writes, he was a Pharisee and a follower of Rabbi Gamliel. He claims that he even persecuted Jesus' followers for their false beliefs. It was on a trip to Damascus where Paul had a mind altering experience. He had a vision of Jesus as god, and it was this vision that transformed his life and the history of the world as well. Before Paul's vision, Jesus' followers saw themselves as Jews and observed the Torah. The characteristic that set them apart from other Jews was their belief that Jesus was the Messiah, and that he would one day return to redeem the Jewish people. Paul radically redefined this small Jewish sect into a new religion that sharply broke with Judaism. According to him, what mattered to God was not observance of the Torah but faith in Jesus.

Rabbi Ron

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